James Dobson

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Posted by pompos 03/02/2009 @ 12:47

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James Dobson's Political Surrender - U.S. News & World Report
By Dan Gilgoff, God & Country Politically, James Dobson has surrendered. At least for the time being. Today, the Focus on the Family founder devotes his typically family-focused radio show to what he calls "the utter evil that's coming out of the...
Conservatives split over Miss USA controversy - Associated Baptist Press
Focus on the Family founder James Dobson interviewed Prejean for a two-part broadcast aired May 11-12, in which she described what went through her mind when she was asked the question about whether all states should legalize gay marriage....
Problem Gambling Study of Online Casinos Tainted by Vested Interests - USA Online Casinos
Chairman Kay James was on the Board of Directors of Focus on the Family, a religious organization known for its blind hatred of gambling. Worse, James Dobson, the founder of Focus, was a member of this scientific team. John Wilhelm, the next of the...
Fear You Can Believe In? - Huffington Post
And for James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, same-sex marriage is a greater threat than terrorism because it will "destroy us from within." Mike Huckabee echoed Dobson's suggestion that gay rights would destroy civilization, saying during the...
James Dobson says he's helpless in culture wars - SmartBrief
Focus on the Family founder James Dobson told his radio audience that they're politically helpless and that he won't encourage them to offer opposition to the hate crimes bill recently passed by the House. "I want to tell you upfront that we're not...
FOF's James Dobson is Going Completely Mad Over Hate Crimes - Towleroad
Right Wing Watch posted a new video of James Dobson (he said he was going away in February), who has reemerged to bail water out of the sinking ship of the religious right. Dobson returns with a message for his minions....
Dobson 'Disappointed' Obama Skipped Day of Prayer Ceremony - Washington Post
By Hamil R. Harris Evangelical author and radio host James Dobson said that he is "disappointed" that for the first time in nearly two decades there was no representative from the White House during the National Day of Prayer event....
Dobson stinging over Sebelius - Kansas.com
Was James Dobson of Focus on the Family pushed to surrender in the culture wars by the confirmation of pro-choice Kathleen Sebelius as secretary of Health and Human Services? “We tried with Kathleen Sebelius and sent thousands of phone calls and...
James Dobson is a Pathological Liar - Tips-Q GLBT News
That inconvenient fact doesn't deter James Dobson's from being dishonest:The dangerous bill, awaiting Senate consideration, would create a new class of crimes based on the victim's "actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity....
Does Dobson Really Want Christians to Disengage From Politics? - U.S. News & World Report
By Dan Gilgoff, God & Country Yesterday, I wrote about Focus on the Family founder James Dobson telling his radio listeners that they're politically powerless to influence Washington at the moment. That it was no use calling or writing the White House...

James Dobson

James Dobson 1.jpg

James Clayton "Jim" Dobson (born April 21, 1936 in Shreveport, Louisiana) is an American evangelical Christian and founder and former chairman of the board of Focus on the Family, a nonprofit organization he founded in 1977. He has never drawn a salary from the organization, but has used it to promote his related books and publications, yielding him royalties only for sales through other venues. As part of his role in the organization, he produces the daily radio program Focus on the Family, which is broadcast in more than a dozen languages and on over 7,000 stations worldwide, and heard daily by more than 220 million people in 164 countries, according to the organization's own statements. Focus on the Family is also carried by about 60 U.S. television stations daily. He founded the Family Research Council in 1981. He is an evangelical Christian with conservative views on theology and politics. He has been referred to as "the nation's most influential evangelical leader" by Time magazine, and Slate has termed him the successor to evangelical leaders Billy Graham, Jerry Falwell, and Pat Robertson. On January 24, 1989, he interviewed American serial killer Ted Bundy right before Bundy's execution.

James C. Dobson Jr. was born to Myrtle and James Dobson, and from his earliest childhood, Christianity was a central part of his life. He once told a reporter that he learned to pray before he learned to talk. In fact, he says he gave his life to Jesus at the age of three, in response to an altar call by his father. He is the son, grandson, and great-grandson of Nazarene evangelists. To this day, he remains a member of the evangelical Church of the Nazarene, the largest denomination to come out of the 19th century Holiness Movement. His father, James Dobson Sr., (1911-1977) never went to college, choosing instead the life of a traveling evangelist. Pastor Dobson was well-known in the southwest, and he and Mrs. Dobson often took their young son along so that he could watch his father preach. Theirs was a patriarchal home, in which Mrs. Dobson always deferred to her husband in every major decision. Like most Nazarenes, they forbade dancing and going to movies, so young "Jimmie Lee" (as he was called) concentrated on his studies, and also became good at tennis.

Dobson was drawn to the study of psychology, which in the 1950s and 1960s was not looked upon favorably by most evangelical Christians. He came to believe that he was being called to become a Christian counselor or perhaps a Christian psychologist. He decided to pursue a degree in psychology, and ultimately received his doctorate in that field in 1967.

Dobson first became well-known with the publication of Dare to Discipline, which encouraged parents to use corporal punishment in disciplining their children. Dobson's social and political opinions are widely read among many evangelical church congregations in the United States. Dobson publishes monthly bulletins also called Focus on the Family, which are dispensed as inserts in some Sunday church service bulletins.

Dobson attended Pasadena College (now Point Loma Nazarene University) where he was team captain of the tennis team, most valuable player in 1956 and 1958, and later returned to coach in 1968-1969. Dobson earned a doctorate in child development from the University of Southern California in 1967. He was an Associate Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Southern California School of Medicine for 14 years. He spent 17 years on the staff of the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles in the Division of Child Development and Medical Genetics. Dobson is a licensed psychologist in the State of California.

At the invitation of Presidents and Attorneys General, Dobson has also served on government advisory panels and testified at several government hearings. He has been given the "Layman of the Year" award by the National Association of Evangelicals in 1982, "The Children's Friend" honor by Childhelp USA (an advocate agency against child abuse) in 1987, and the Humanitarian Award by the California Psychological Association in 1988. In 2005, Dobson received an honorary doctorate (his 16th and most recent) from Indiana Wesleyan University and was inducted into IWU's Society of World Changers, while speaking at the university's Academic Convocation.

In 2008, Dobson's "Focus on the Family" program was nominated for induction into the Radio Hall of Fame. Nominations were made by the 157 members of the Hall of Fame and voting on inductees was handed over to the public using online voting. The nomination drew the ire of gay rights activists, who launched efforts to have the program removed from the nominee list and to vote for other nominees to prevent "Focus on the Family" from winning. However, on July 18, 2008, it was announced that the program had won and would be inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in a ceremony on November 8, 2008. TruthWinsOut.org, a gay rights group, has said they will protest the ceremony.

James Dobson is a strong proponent of what he calls "traditional marriage". According to his view, women are not deemed inferior to men because both are created in God's image, but each gender has biblically-mandated roles. He recommends that married women with children under the age of 18 focus on mothering, rather than work for income outside the home. He believes this provides a stable environment for growing children.

In the 2004 book Marriage Under Fire: Why We Must Win This Battle, Dobson explains what he believes to be the Bible's view of marriage. Dobson suggests that falling heterosexual marriage rates in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden are due to the recognition of same-sex relationships by those countries during the 1990s (pp. 8-9). He remarks that traditional marriage "is rapidly dying" in these countries as a result, with most young people cohabiting or choosing to remain single (living alone) and illegitimacy rates rising in some Norwegian counties up to 80%. However, at least one journalist investigating the statistics Dobson cites claims he and others have "misinterpreted the statistics while not supporting their interpretations with any actual research." Dobson writes that "every civilization in the world has been built upon ," (p. 7) and describes the institution of marriage as "the bedrock of culture in Asia, Africa, Europe, North America, South America, Australia, and even Antarctica" (p. 8). He also believes that homosexuality is a learned moral choice and he cites as evidence the life of actress Anne Heche, who at one time claimed to be a lesbian but no longer does so. Criticizing "the realities of judicial tyranny," Dobson has written that "here is no issue today that is more significant to our culture than the defense of the family. Not even the war on terror eclipses it" (pp. 84-85).

Dobson and Focus on the Family support private school vouchers and tax credits for religious schools, and they reject education efforts that support or normalize homosexuality. According to Focus on the Family website, Dobson believes that parents are ultimately responsible for their children's education. He encourages parents to visit their children's schools to ask questions and to join the PTA so that they may voice their opinions. Dobson opposes sex education curricula that are not abstinence-only. According to People for the American Way, concerned citizens have used Focus on the Family's material when challenging a book or curriculum in the public schools. Critics, such as People for the American Way, allege that Focus on the Family encourages Christian teachers to establish prayer groups in public schools. Dobson supports student-led prayer in public schools, and believes that allowing student-led Christian prayer in schools does not violate the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

In the winter of 2004-2005, the We Are Family Foundation sent American elementary schools approximately 60,000 copies of a free DVD using popular cartoon characters (most notably Sponge Bob) to "promote tolerance and diversity." Dobson contended that "tolerance and diversity" are "buzzwords" that the We Are Family Foundation misused as part of a hidden agenda to promote homosexuality. The New York Times noted Dobson asserting: "tolerance and its first cousin, diversity, 'are almost always buzzwords for homosexual advocacy.'" He stated on the Focus on the Family website that "childhood symbols are apparently being hijacked to promote an agenda that involves teaching homosexual propaganda to children." He offered as evidence the association of many leading LGBT rights organizations, including GLAAD, GLSEN, HRC, and PFLAG, with the We Are Family Foundation as shown by links which he claims once existed on their website.

Dobson believes that God defines marriage as between one man and one woman only and describes this as the central stabilizing institution of society. Dobson believes that any sexual activity outside of such a union - including homosexuality - cannot be approved by God. In Dobson's view, homosexuality is a choice that is made through influences in a child's environment rather than an inborn trait. He states that homosexual behavior, specifically "unwanted same-sex attraction", has been and can be "overcome" through understanding developmental models for homosexuality and choosing to heal the complex developmental issues which led to same-sex attraction.

Despite Dobson being a licensed clinical psychologist, and his expression of homosexuality in psychological terms, his views are not supported by the mainstream mental health community, including the American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association.

Dobson has been quoted as saying that it is the responsibility of a father to raise his son to be a "man," and to encourage his son's masculinity.

Although Dobson initially remained somewhat distant from Washington politics, in 1981 he founded the Family Research Council as a political arm through which "social conservative causes" could achieve greater political influence.

In late 2004, Dobson led a campaign to block the appointment of Arlen Specter to head of the Senate Judiciary Committee because of Specter's pro-choice stance on abortion. Responding to a question by Fox News personality Alan Colmes on whether he wanted the Republican Party to be known as a "big-tent party," he replied, "I don't want to be in the big tent... I think the party ought to stand for something." In 2006, Family Research Council spent more than a half million dollars to promote a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage in its home state of Colorado.

Dobson is an intelligent design supporter and has spoken at conferences supporting the subject, and frequently criticizes evolution." In 2007, Dobson was one of 25 evangelicals who called for the ouster of Rev. Richard Cizik from his position at the National Association of Evangelicals because Cizik had taken a stance urging evangelicals to take global warming seriously.

Dobson is a frequent guest on Fox News Channel.

Dobson has been relinquishing leadership roles as he ages. With regards to Focus on the Family, Dobson stepped down as President and CEO in 2003, and resigned from the position of chairman of the board in February 2009.

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R. Albert Mohler, Jr.

Al Mohler

John Spilsbury Lottie Moon · Annie Armstrong B. H. Carroll W. A. Criswell · Monroe E. Dodd Adrian Rogers · Jerry Falwell, Sr.

R. Albert Mohler, Jr. (born 1959) is the ninth president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. Mohler hosts The Albert Mohler Program, a nationwide radio show devoted to engaging contemporary culture with his Bible-based beliefs.

He is a member of the board of James Dobson's Focus on the Family and a member of the governing body of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.

Mohler formed Together for the Gospel with Ligon Duncan, Mark Dever and CJ Mahaney.

He is married to the former Mary Kahler, with whom he has two children, Katie and Christopher.

Mohler is a native of Lakeland in central Florida. As a child he attended Lake Yale, a Florida Baptist campground. During his Lakeland years he attended Southside Baptist Church.

Mohler attended college at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Palm Beach County, Florida as a Faculty Scholar. He then received a B. A. from Samford University, a private, coeducational Baptist-affiliated college in Birmingham, Alabama. His graduate degrees, a Master of Divinity and Ph.D. in "Systematic and Historical Theology," were conferred by The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, also known as Southern Seminary.

Mohler also serves as Professor of Christian Theology at Southern Seminary. His writings have been published throughout the United States and Europe. He has contributed to several books including Hell Under Fire: Modern Scholarship Reinvents Eternal Punishment, Here We Stand: A Call From Confessing Evangelicals and The Coming Evangelical Crisis. He served as General Editor of The Gods of the Age or the God of the Ages: Essays by Carl F. H. Henry and served from 1985 to 1993 as Associate Editor of Preaching, a journal for evangelical preachers. He currently serves as Editor-in-Chief of The Southern Baptist Journal of Theology. Forthcoming book projects include works on the future of evangelical theology and on the evangelical responses to what he terms a "crisis" in American culture.

Mohler has presented lectures or addresses at a variety of conservative evangelical universities including Wheaton College and Samford University.

Mohler joined the staff of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky in 1983 as Coordinator of Foundation Support. In 1987 he became Director of Capital Funding, a post he held until 1989. While still a student he served as assistant to then-President Roy Honeycutt.

In February 1993, Mohler was appointed the ninth President of the Seminary by the institution's board of trustees, succeeding Roy Honeycutt.

Though founded upon its Abstract of Principles, since the 1950s Southern Seminary was believed by many Southern Baptists to have grown increasingly liberal and to have moved away from the tradition of Biblical inerrancy that it had once held. Given the statements made in 2000 by Wake Forest divinity school dean Bill Leonard (a former member of the Southern Seminary faculty) on Wake Forest divinity school admissions, Southern Seminary apparently did include faculty members more liberal than many members of the denomination they were affiliated with.

Through the election of conservatives at the national level, Southern Baptists initiated a process to return the seminary to traditional teachings. The appointment of Mohler to the office of president by the trustees indicated a significant shift had occurred towards a more conservative biblical theology (a move toward "confessional fidelity"). This led to a significant and swift change in the staffing of the organization — more than 90 percent of the faculty left. Although some say many were fired, in truth, only one faculty member was fired; that being an Asst. Librarian. Supporters of Mohler believed that this was necessary to maintain Biblical integrity. The Carver School of Social Work, which was considered too liberal, was eventually dissolved. It has now been replaced by Southern Seminary's undergraduate program, Boyce College.

Mohler was also instrumental in the mid-1990s restructuring of the Southern Baptist Convention, which saw an increase in the influence of conservatives. After the restructuring had occurred, Mohler and others sought to enforce these doctrinal changes in spite of controversy and some opposition. This led to the drafting of the 2000 revision of the Baptist Faith and Message, which added an exhortation for wives to "submit graciously" to their husbands and for husbands "to love his wife as Christ loved the church",.

Membership in the Southern Baptist Convention has increased in recent years following these changes in the Convention and Seminary. Southern Seminary saw its largest enrollment in its history during the Spring semester 2006. The seminary is now one of the most endowed and largest seminaries world-wide.

Mohler served as editor of The Christian Index, the biweekly newsletter of the Georgia Baptist Convention. From 1985 to 1993 he was Associate Editor of the bi-monthly Preaching Magazine.

Mohler served on the Advisory Council for the 2001 English Standard Version (ESV) of the Bible.

Mohler blogs on Crosswalk.com, a web site maintained by Salem Web Network of Richmond, VA.

Shortly after his term as president began, Mohler drafted a policy (which was ratified by the trustees) that the Seminary would only hire professors who agreed to sign an Abstract of (theological) Principles. Those who refused to sign were dismissed or resigned.

Theologically, Mohler represents an intellectual, conservative, evangelical Christianity. He advocates a complementarian position on gender, the sanctity of human life, and opposes homosexual marriage. He believes in the "verbal plenary inspiration" of the Bible, and that it is the inerrant, infallible Word of God and as essential for every aspect of every Christian's life.

Mohler often appears on the same platform at conferences with several Reformed pastors and theologians such as C. J. Mahaney, charismatic-Calvinist and founder of Sovereign Grace Ministries, Mark Dever, Southern Baptist pastor and founder of 9Marks Ministries, Ligon Duncan, a Presbyterian (PCA Moderator), R. C. Sproul of Ligonier ministries, John Piper, pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, and John MacArthur, pastor of Grace Community Church.

I'm no specialist in Islamic theology. I'll let those who are debate whether or not there is that kind of militancy and warrior culture within Islamic theology. But I want to say as a Christian theologian, the biggest problem with Islamic theology is that it kills the soul.

The bigger problem with Islam is not that there are those who will kill the body in its name, but that it lies about God presents a false gospel, an un-gospel… These are difficult things to say. This is not polite.

Mohler's approach to Muslims is driven by his belief in the relevance of the Christian Gospel to all people.

The secular world tends to look at Islam as a function of ethnicity which means seeking to convert these people to Christianity is an insult to them. But Christianity is a trans-ethnic faith, which understands that Christianity is not particular to or captured by any ethnicity, but seeks to reach all persons.

The secular world tends to look at Iraq and say, well, it's Muslim, and that's just a fact, and any Christian influence would just be a form of Western imperialism. The Christian has to look at Iraq and see persons desperately in need of the gospel. Compelled by the love and command of Christ, the Christian will seek to take that gospel in loving and sensitive, but very direct, ways to the people of Iraq.

Mohler is a member of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals.

Mohler appeared on MSNBC's Donahue on August 20, 2002. . The subject was Christian evangelization of Jews. The show's host along with members of both Catholic and Jewish clergy criticized Mohler's insistence that salvation lies exclusively in the personal acceptance of Christ before the afterlife.

On April 15, 2003, Mohler granted an interview published in Time Magazine. The subject was the issue of evangelizing of Iraqi Muslims in the form of Christian aid groups.

On December 18, 2004, Mohler debated retired Episcopal bishop John Shelby Spong on Faith Under Fire, a program hosted by Lee Strobel and appearing on PAX, a Christian television network. The subject was the historicity and truthfulness of the Bible.

On June 17, 1999, Mohler preached to the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) in Louisville, Kentucky. He prefaced his remarks, in part, by saying "As a citizen of Louisville, I'm so glad to have a Presbyterian group here that doesn't have a gay and lesbian caucus." This comment was a jab at the PC(USA) based in Louisville. Mohler has written article(s) entitled "Homosexuality & the Bible".

On October 31, 2004, Mohler spoke at the First Baptist Church of Woodstock, Georgia on the subject "Deciphering the Da Vinci Code." Mohler has written several articles about the Da Vinci Code.

On November 5-6, 2004, Mohler spoke at Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, Maryland, giving a presentation for men entitled "Being Men and Raising Men," and one for married and engaged couples "Embracing God's Design for Marriage" where he described his complementarian position.

On November 8-9, 2004, Mohler spoke at the annual meeting of the Florida Baptist State Convention.

On May 21, 2005, Mohler gave the commencement address at Union University in Jackson, Tenn. Mohler told graduates they could display the glory of God by telling and defending the truth, sharing the gospel, engaging the culture, changing the world, loving the church and showing the glory of God in their own lives.

Mohler is on the board of directors of Focus on the Family. In this role he was one of the principal organizers of Justice Sunday, a nationally televised event broadcast from Highview Baptist Church, Mohler's home church, in Louisville, Kentucky on April 24, 2005. Mohler shared the stage with Charles Colson, and Focus on the Family founder James Dobson. U. S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist appeared at the event via videotape. Another host of the program was Family Research Council president Tony Perkins.

The purpose of the broadcast was to mobilize the conservative base in lobbying the United States Senate to curtail debate on the nominations to the Federal Judiciary made by George W. Bush.

Mohler spoke in June, 2004 about married adults who choose not to have children.

Mohler has praised the efforts of Daniel Akin, President of the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, who, like most Southern Baptists, is opposed to even moderate consumption of alcohol.

If a biological basis is found, and if a prenatal test is then developed, and if a successful treatment to reverse the sexual orientation to heterosexual is ever developed, we would support its use as we should unapologetically support the use of any appropriate means to avoid sexual temptation and the inevitable effects of sin.

Mohler was frustrated by the public response to his statement.

According to Albert Mohler, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and Marxism are "demonstration of satanic power".

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However, the term "Evangelical" does not equal conservative or fundamentalist, though there are many conservative and fundamentalist evangelicals, many Christians who consider themselves evangelical Christians are progressive, pluralist and even universalist. This is because of the diverse, ambiguous meanings it has, and uses, among Christians. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is an example of progressive denomination, The Evangelical Free Church is an example of a conservative denomination.

The term evangelical (with a lower case "e") can refer to the personal belief that Jesus is the Messiah. The word comes from the Greek word for "Gospel" or "good news:" ευαγγελιον evangelion, from eu- "good" and angelion "message." In that sense, to be evangelical would mean to be a believer in the gospel, that is the message of Jesus Christ as revealed in the New Testament.

Beginning with the Reformation, evangelical was used in a broad sense to refer to either Protestants or Christians in general. Martin Luther referred to the evangelische Kirche or evangelical church to distinguish Protestants from Catholics in the Roman Catholic Church. In Germany and Switzerland, and especially among Lutherans, the term has continued to be used in a broad sense. This can be seen in the names of certain Lutheran denominations or national organizations, such as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, and the Evangelical Church in Germany.

The contemporary North American usage of the term is influenced by the evangelical/fundamentalist controversy of the early 20th century. Evangelicalism may sometimes be perceived as the middle ground between the theological liberalism of the Mainline (Protestant) denominations and the cultural separatism of Fundamentalist Christianity. Evangelicalism is therefore described as "the third of the leading strands in American Protestantism, straddl the divide between fundamentalists and liberals." While the North American perception is important to understand the usage of the term, it by no means dominates a wider world view, where the fundamentalist debate was not so influential.

In the 18th century the Wesleyan revival in the Church of England influenced the formation of a party of pietistic Anglicans, whose descendant movement is still called the "Evangelical party". In the United States, Jonathan Edwards and the "New Lights" (revival Calvinists) were opposed by "Old Lights" (confessional Calvinists). George Whitfield, a Methodist, continued and expanded this pietistic "New Light" revivalism together with the non-Calvinist, Arminian Methodist movement.

From the late 20th century such conservative Protestant Christians, and their churches and social movements, are often called evangelical to distinguish them from Protestants who have a tendency towards more liberal Christianity.

John Nelson Darby, 1800's English minister - Created the movement of Dispensationalism, an innovative Protestant movement that gave rise to evangelicalism - (History Channel "Antichrist: Zero Hour" (2005)).

The term neo-evangelicalism was coined by Harold Ockenga in 1947, to identify a distinct movement within fundamentalist Christianity at the time, especially in the English-speaking world.

The fundamentalists saw the evangelicals as often being too concerned about social acceptance and intellectual respectability, and being too accommodating to a perverse generation that needed correction. In addition, they saw the efforts of evangelist Billy Graham, who worked with non-evangelical denominations, such as the Roman Catholics (which they claimed to be heretical), as a mistake.

The self-identified fundamentalists also cooperated in separating their opponents from the fundamentalist name, by increasingly seeking to distinguish themselves from the more open group, whom they often characterized derogatorily, by Ockenga's term, "Neo-evangelical" or just Evangelical.

Evangelicals held the view that the modernist and liberal parties in the Protestant churches had surrendered their heritage as Evangelicals by accommodating the views and values of the world. At the same time, they criticized their fellow Fundamentalists for their separatism and their rejection of the Social gospel as it had been developed by Protestant activists of the previous century. They charged the modernists with having lost their identity as Evangelicals and the Fundamentalists with having lost the Christ-like heart of Evangelicalism. They argued that the Gospel needed to be reasserted to distinguish it from the innovations of the liberals and the fundamentalists.

As part of this renewal of Evangelicalism, the new evangelicals sought to engage the modern world and the liberal Christians in a positive way, remaining separate from worldliness but not from the world — a middle way between modernism and the separating variety of fundamentalism. They sought allies in denominational churches and liturgical traditions, disregarding views of eschatology and other "non-essentials," and joined also with Trinitarian varieties of Pentecostalism. They believed that in doing so, they were simply re-acquainting Protestantism with its own recent tradition. The movement's aim at the outset was to reclaim the Evangelical heritage in their respective churches, not to begin something new; and for this reason, following their separation from Fundamentalists, the same movement has been better known merely as "Evangelicalism." By the end of the 20th century, this was the most influential development in American Protestant Christianity.

On a worldwide scale evangelical churches (together with Pentecostals) claim to be the most rapidly growing Christian churches. The two often overlap, in a movement sometimes called Transformationalism. Churches in Africa exhibit rapid growth and great diversity in part because they are not dependent on European and North American evangelical sources. An example of this can be seen in the African Initiated Churches. The World Evangelical Alliance is "a network of churches in 127 nations that have each formed an evangelical alliance and over 100 international organizations joining together to give a worldwide identity, voice and platform to more than 420 million evangelical Christians". The Alliance (WEA) was formed in 1951 by Evangelicals from 21 countries. It has worked to support its members to work together globally.

Especially toward the end of the 20th century some have tended to confuse evangelicalism and fundamentalism, but they are not the same; the labels represent very distinct differences of approach which both groups are diligent to maintain. Both groups seek to maintain an identity as theological conservatives; evangelicals, however, seek to distance themselves from stereotypical perceptions of the "fundamentalist" posture, of antagonism toward the larger society, advocating involvement in the surrounding community rather than separation from it.

In North America, evangelicals tend to be perceived as socially conservative. For instance, based on the view that marriage is defined as only between one man and one woman, many evangelicals oppose same-sex marriage and polyamory. Also, based on the view that the life of a child begins at conception and that a baby's right to live takes precedence over the legal right to terminate an unwanted or dangerous pregnancy, evangelicals tend to oppose laws permitting abortion (See below for more details).

The 2004 survey of religion and politics in the United States identified the Evangelical percentage of the population at 26.3%; while Roman Catholics are 22% and Mainline Protestants make up 16%. In the 2007 Statistical Abstract of the United States, the figures for these same groups are 28.6% (Evangelical), 24.5% (Roman Catholics), and 13.9% (Mainline Protestant.) The latter figures are based on a 2001 study of the self-described religious identification of the adult population for 1990 and 2001 from the Graduate School and University Center at the City University of New York.

The National Association of Evangelicals is a U.S. agency which coordinates cooperative ministry for its member denominations.

Evangelical influence in America was first evident in the late 19th Century and early 20th Century movement of prohibition.

In recent decades the most prominent issue that tends to be associated with conservative Evangelicals' political activism is abortion. Conservative Evangelicals generally believe it to be taking an innocent life, although the theological bases underlying this belief vary, from specific verses purportedly about when life begins, to the more generalized ban on murder (the latter typically descending into a mutually circular argument regarding the definition of personhood). Critics believe any legal restrictions based on such a worldview amount to imposing religion, whereas adherents claim that it is as legitimate as seeking protection for any other oppressed class through religiously-motivated activism (many of which causes are now non-controversial). Abortion abolitionists trace some lineage through the history of English common law, which for centuries had purported to implement fundamental Judeo-Christian principles of justice into its legal system. However, abortion was not deemed criminal until the "quickening" of the fetus under common law; it was not until England's "Offences Against the Person" Acts of 1837 and 1861 that abortion was fully criminalized there, and even then it was not legally classified as murder. There remains today a wide divergence of opinion among the American religious right as to precisely how abortion should ideally be classified and/or punished, exactly whom would be prosecuted, and other logistical matters of implementing an outright ban. There are also internal disagreements about whether and which exceptions to any ban should be entertained.

Modern opponents of the Christian Right assert that Roe v Wade, the Supreme Court decision rendered in 1973 preventing states from making laws that prohibit abortion, was not the most significant landmark of a new era of conservative evangelical political action. They maintain that it was not until 1980 that the evangelical movement came to oppose abortion. They cite Green v. Connally a.k.a. Coit v. Green (and President Jimmy Carter's support of the decision), which ruled any segregated institution was not charitable and thus not tax-exempt, as having galvanized conservative evangelicals. Almost no conservative Evangelicals agree with this characterization, regarding it as an attempt to portray them in a negative light; they widely contend that racial segregation has long been a minority view among Evangelicals, and dismiss portrayals to the contrary as smears from what they regard as a hostile media.

While it is true that the United States was founded on the sacred principle of religious freedom for all, that liberty was never intended to exalt other religions to the level that Christianity holds in our country's heritage. The USA's founders expected that Christianity—and no other religion—would receive support from the government as long as that support did not violate peoples' consciences and their right to worship. They would have found utterly incredible the idea that all religions, including paganism, be treated with equal deference.

Conversely, many on the Christian right contend that they merely seek freedom from the imposition of an equally-subjective secular wordlview, and feel it is their opponents who are violating their rights. They suggest that on many hot-button issues (other than abortion), they rarely seek to actually criminalize the behaviors of others, and that more often it is the other way around. Indeed while most in the religious right criticized the Supreme Court's Lawrence v. Texas decision striking down state laws prohibiting homosexual conduct, it was also emphasized that the reasons for disagreeing with the ruling were more about process than substance (much like dissenting Justice Scalia, who noted that were he a legislator he would oppose such laws, but he just didn't believe they were actually unconstitutional). Even the most ardent opponents of legally-recognized same-sex marriage almost never seek to reinstitute any bans on homosexual conduct.

The Christian Right is not made completely (or even a majority) of Evangelical Christians. According to an article in the November 11, 2004 issue of The Economist, entitled "The Triumph of the Religious Right", "The implication of these findings is that Mr. Bush's moral majority is not, as is often thought, composed of a bunch of right-wing evangelical Christians. Rather, it consists of traditionalist and observant church-goers of every kind: Catholic and mainline Protestant, as well as evangelicals, Mormons, and Sign Followers. Meanwhile, modernist evangelicals tend to be Democratic." Although evangelicals are currently seen as being on the Christian Right in the United States, there are those in the center as well. A major distinction between traditional/conservative Evangelicals and others is a conviction that a truly "Biblical worldview" compels certain social and cultural (and thus political) positions among professed followers. To the extent that traditional Evangelicals find common ground with conservative segments of other religions (especially other forms of Christianity), alliances inevitably form, sometimes ironically against the more moderate or liberal strains of Evangelicalism (with whom there may still be more theological overlap).

According to recent reports in the New York Times, some evangelicals have sought to expand their movement's social agenda to include poverty, combating AIDS in the Third World, and protecting the environment. This is highly contentious within the Evangelical community, as more conservative Evangelicals believe that this trend is compromising important issues and prioritizing popularity and consensus too highly. Personifying this division were the Evangelical leaders James Dobson and Rick Warren, the former who warned of the dangers of an Obama victory in 2008 from his point of view , in contrast with the latter who declined to endorse either major candidate on the grounds that he wanted the church to be less politically divisive and that he had substantial agreement with both men. Indeed many are not sure how to characterize Rick Warren on the Evangelical spectrum; despite his avowed centrism he recently supported California's controversial Proposal 8 (2008), which is regarded by critics as a right-wing position; however, many conservative denominations nonetheless vigorously dissociate themselves from him and his movement.

Typically, members of the evangelical left affirm the primary tenets of evangelical theology, such as the doctrines of Incarnation, atonement, and resurrection, and also see the Bible as a primary authority for the Church. A major theological difference, however, which in turn leads to many of the social/political differences, is the issue of how strictly to interpret the Bible, as well as what particular values and principles predominantly constitute the "Biblical Worldview" believed to be binding upon all followers. Inevitably, battles over how to characterize each other and themselves ensure, with the Evangelical left and right often hyperbolically regarding each other as "mainline/non-Evangelical" and "fundamentalist" respectively.

Unlike conservative evangelicals, the evangelical left is generally opposed to capital punishment and supportive of gun control. In many cases, evangelical leftists are pacifistic. Some promote the legalization of gay marriage or protection of access to abortion. There is considerable dispute over how to even characterize the various segments of the Evangelical theological and political spectra, and whether a singular discernible rift between "right" and "left" is oversimplified. However, to the extent that some simplifications are necessary to discuss any complex issue, it's recognized that modern trends like focusing on non-contentious issues (like poverty) and downplaying hot-button social issues (like abortion) tend to be key distinctives of the modern "Evangelical Left" or "Emergent Church" movement.

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Christian right

Jerry Falwell, whose founding of the Moral Majority was a key step in the formation of the New Christian Right

The Christian right is a term used predominantly in the United States to describe a spectrum of right-wing Christian political and social movements and organizations characterized by their strong support of conservative social and political values. The politically active social movement of the Christian right includes individuals from a wide variety of conservative theological beliefs, ranging from traditional movements within Pentecostalism, fundamentalist Christianity, and Mormonism to the sections of Lutheranism and Catholicism that are theologically more conservative than their mainstream denomonations.

The Christian right is contrasted with the Christian left, a spectrum of left-wing Christian political and social movements which largely embrace polices of social justice.

The terms Christian right and Religious right are often used interchangeably, although the terms are not synonymous. Religious right can refer to any religiously motivated conservative movement, whether specific to one religion or shared across religious lines. For example, conservative Christians, Muslim social conservatives, and Orthodox Jews cooperate in national and international projects through the World Congress of Families and United Nations NGO gatherings. Christian right on the other hand refers to only the Christian segment of the Religious right and includes leaders who are outspoken critics of radical Islam and other faiths, regardless of their political leanings.

The term Christian right is used by people from a wide range of conservative political and religious viewpoints, for self identification and outside commentary. Some 15% of the electorate in the United States tell pollsters they align themselves with the Christian right, which serves as an important voting bloc within the U.S. Republican Party. In recent years, Christian right groups have appeared in other countries than the United States. However, the Christian right remains a idiosyncratic phenomenon most commonly associated with the United States.

The Christian right became prominent due to a variety of developments, including the "shift in gravity" (the movement of the Christian population) to the South and West, both in regards to population movements and to rising leaders in the "anti-establishment" of the West, which consequently led to more power in electoral votes.

An important factor that led to the concentration of the Christian Right's popularity was creating a climate where churches would be central in the absence of community. It was the physical design of neighborhoods, particularly in developing areas like Southern California that were unique to the movement. The "planned sprawl" model of development fostered an environment of private growth, often spread out, in absence of public space and weakening the community bonds of the area. The church thus became an alternative means for establishing a sense of togetherness, and a place for social activity. The church acted as the new center for the community, bringing people together for socialization and the exchange of ideas. The growth of the church community was integral in the subsequent mobilization of conservative activists, particularly in suburban areas.

The alienation of Southern Democrats also contributed to the rise of the Right as a result of the dissolution over race, particularly after desegregation efforts following the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and the Barry Goldwater campaign attracted members of the Southern elite into the Republican Party. The Right also grew as a reaction of the progressive culture of the 1960s and a fear of social disintegration.

The contemporary Christian right became increasingly vocal and organized in reaction to a series of United States Supreme Court decisions (notably Bob Jones University v. Simon and Bob Jones University v. United States) and also engaged in battles over pornography, obscenity, abortion, state sanctioned prayer in public schools, textbook contents (concerning evolution vs. intelligent design), homosexuality, and sexual education. The movement strengthened its influence through grassroots activists, intellectual think tanks (such as American Enterprise Institute, Heritage Foundation, Hoover Foundation, etc), and a wide range of media institutions and key media figures (i.e. National Review, Rupert Murdoch, and Rush Limbaugh).

Much of the Christian right's power within the American political system is attributed to their extraordinary turnout rate at the polls. The voters that coexist in the Christian Right are also highly motivated and driven to get out a viewpoint on issues they care about. As well as high voter turnout, they can be counted on to attend political events, knock on doors and distribute literature. Members of the Christian Right are willing to do the electoral work needed to see their candidate elected. Because of their high level of devotion, the Christian right does not need to monetarily compensate these people for their work, thus making them a valuable resource for the Christian right.

Led by Robert Grant's Christian Voice, Jerry Falwell's Moral Majority, Ed McAteer's Religious Roundtable Council, James Dobson's Focus on the Family, and Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network, the New Religious Right combined conservative politics with evangelical and fundamentalist teachings. The birth of the New Christian right, however, is usually traced to a 1979 meeting where televangelist Jerry Falwell was urged to create a "Moral Majority" organization.

One early effort to institutionalize the Christian right as a politically-active social movement began in 1974 when Dr. Robert Grant, an early movement leader, founded American Christian Cause to advocate Christian moral teachings in Southern California. Concerned that Christians overwhelmingly voted in favor of President Jimmy Carter in 1976, Grant founded Christian Voice to mobilize Christian voters in favor of candidates who share their socially conservative values.

In the late 1980s Pat Robertson founded the Christian Coalition, building from his 1988 presidential run, with Republican activist Ralph Reed, who became the spokesman for the Coalition. In 1992, the national Christian Coalition, Inc., headquartered in Virginia Beach, Virginia, began producing voter guides, which it distributed to conservative Christian churches. Under the leadership of Reed and Robertson, the Coalition quickly became the most prominent voice in the conservative Christian movement, its influence culminating with an effort to support the election of a conservative Christian to the presidency in 1996. In addition, they have talked about attempting to intersperse the traditional moral issues associated with the Christian Right into a broader message that emphasizes other political issues, such as healthcare, the economy, education and crime.

Political activists worked within the Republican party locally and nationally to influence party platforms and nominations. More recently Dr. James Dobson's group Focus on the Family, based in Colorado Springs and its lobbying arm the Family Research Council in Washington D.C have gained enormous clout among Republican lawmakers. While strongly advocating for these "moral issues", Dobson himself is more wary of the political spectrum and much of the resources of his group are devoted to other aims such as media. However, as a private citizen, Dobson has stated his opinion on presidential elections; on February 5, 2008, Dobson issued a statement regarding the 2008 presidential election and his strong disappointment with the Republican party's candidates.

The political role of the Christian Right is not that of a singular, homogeneous sect that votes on issues concerning abortion or homosexuality. In an essay written in 1996, Ralph Reed argued against the moral absolutist tone of Christian Right leaders, arguing for the Republican Party Platform to stress the moral dimension of abortion rather than placing emphasis on repealing Roe v. Wade. Reed believes that pragmatism is the best way to advocate for the Christian Right.

Small churches self-identified as within the Christian right have taken overtly partisan actions, which are generally considered inappropriate in most conservative Protestant churches, and which could threaten these organizations' tax-exempt status. In one notable example, the former pastor of the East Waynesville Baptist Church in Waynesville, North Carolina "told the congregation that anyone who planned to vote for Democratic Sen. John Kerry (the Democratic presidential candidate in 2004) should either leave the church or repent". The church later expelled nine members who had voted for Kerry and refused to repent, which led to criticism on the national level. The pastor resigned and the ousted church members were allowed to return.

Christian Right organizations conduct polls to determine which candidate will be supported and ultimately, represent, the Christian Right in the public sphere. For example, from October 19 to October 21, 2007 the Family Research Council convened a summit of several hundred conservative Christian activists in Washington, DC called the Values Voters Summit. The mission of the meeting was to conduct a straw poll on who is the best choice for religious conservatives. George W. Bush's electoral success owed much to his overwhelming support from white evangelical voters, who comprise 23% of the vote. In 2000 he received 68% of the white evangelical vote; in 2004 that percentage rose to 78%.

The Home School Legal Defense Association was cofounded in 1983 by Michael Farris, who would later establish Patrick Henry College, and Michael Smith. This organization attempts to challenge laws that serve as obstacles to allowing parents to homeschool their children and to organize the disparate group of homeschooling families into a cohesive bloc. The number of homeschooling families has increased in the last twenty years, and around 80 percent of these families identify themselves as evangelicals.

The media has played a major role in the rise of the Christian Right since the 1920s and has continued to be a powerful force for the movement today. The role of the media for the Religious Right has been influential in its ability to connect Christian audiences to the larger American culture while at the same time bringing together religion, politics, and culture that was personal and practical. The political agenda of the Christian Right has been disseminated to the public through a variety of media outlets including radio broadcasting, television, and books. Religious broadcasting began in the 1920s through the radio. Between the 1950s and 1980s, TV became a powerful way for the Christian Right to influence the public through shows such as Pat Robertson's 700 Club and The Family Channel. The use of the Internet has also helped the Christian Right reach a much larger audience. Organizations websites contain easily accessible and detailed information on the issues the organizations are involved in and the positions they take, along with ways the site viewer can get involved. The Christian Coalition, for example, has used the Internet to inform the public, as well as sell merchandise and gather members.

The Christian Right is a movement that has been difficult to define due to the heterogeneity of the movement. Although they are virtually unanimous on certain issues such as abortion, some contrasting viewpoints can be found among people who identify themselves as members of the Christian Right. For example, there is dissent regarding issues such as capital punishment and global warming.

As a right-wing political movement, the Christian right is strongly opposed to left-wing ideologies such as Socialism or the welfare state. Another reason is that communism was seen as a threat to the Western Judeo-Christian tradition.

It also supports economic conservative policies such as tax cuts and social conservative policies such as child tax credits and State and Federal money for Christian causes and organizations.

The Christian Right has made inroads on issues of the public school because many of their followers have been able to influence the curriculum of school districts by running for and winning school board elections. Research suggests that these candidates run to apply their religious or moral beliefs to school policy. The smaller the jurisdiction, the greater the tendency for the Christian Right pragmatically to support favorable candidates who can win, regardless of political-party affiliation.

Their stance on the Middle East can be traced to their beliefs about biblical prophecy, which includes inter-religious conflict, support for the war in Iraq, strong political support for Israel, and strong political opposition to Islam.

Some members of the Christian Right base their stance on Middle Eastern politics on their belief in the Second Coming. This precept views the foundation of a Jewish State (Israel) as a necessary precursor to Christ’s return to earth. For this reason, those who believe in the Second Coming give public support to protecting the state of Israel.

The Christian right builds the foundation for its beliefs on sexuality and reproduction around its article of faith: the nuclear family.

The conclusions of a review of 112 studies on Christian faith and ethnic prejudice were summarised by a later study as being that "white Protestants associated with groups possessing fundamentalist belief systems are generally more prejudiced than members of nonfundamentalist groups, with unchurched whites exhibiting least prejudice." The original review found that its conclusions held "regardless of when the studies were conducted, from whom the data came, the region where the data were collected, or the type of prejudice studied." More recently, at least eight studies have found a positive correlation between fundamentalism and prejudice, using different measures of fundamentalism.

A number of prominent members of the Christian right, including Jerry Falwell and Rousas John Rushdoony, have in the past supported segregation, with Falwell arguing in a 1958 sermon that integration will lead to the destruction of the white race. He later claimed he changed his views.

Bob Jones University had policies that refused black students enrollment until 1971, admitted only married blacks from 1971 to 1975, and prohibited interracial dating and marriage between 1975 and 2000.

By the end of the civil rights movement, the way was set for this marriage of the Republican Party and conservative Christians. … At the Neshoba County Fair in Mississippi in 1980, (Ronald) Reagan's statement "I am for states' rights" was a remarkable moment in the conservative South. The Southern way of life was affirmed and then deftly grafted into national conservative politics.

Sara Diamond, Frederick Clarkson, and some other critics of the Christian right claim that the Christian right's political agendas are a form of Dominionism influenced by Dominion Theology and Christian Reconstructionism; the latter two are related philosophies that regard the Bible as the only strictly true reference for civics, government, scientific theory or any scholarly pursuit. Many in the Christian right oppose this point of view, and no major Christian right leader has gone on record as advocating Reconstructionism, although some admit being influenced by Reconstructionist philosophical writings.

And Bob Marcaurelle, interim pastor at Mountain Springs Baptist Church in Piedmont, said the Middle Ages were proof enough that Christian ruling groups are almost always corrupted by power. “When Christianity becomes the government, the question is whose Christianity?” Marcaurelle asked.

Social scientists have used the word "dominionism" to refer to adherence to Dominion Theology as well as to the influence in the broader Christian Right of ideas inspired by Dominion Theology. Although such influence (particularly of Reconstructionism) has been described by many authors, full adherents to Reconstructionism are few and marginalized among conservative Christians.

Essayist Katherine Yurica began using the term dominionism in her articles in 2004, beginning with "The Despoiling of America". Yurica has been followed in this usage by authors including journalist Chris Hedges, Marion Maddox, James Rudin, Sam Harris, and the group TheocracyWatch. This group of authors has applied the term to a broader spectrum of people than have sociologists such as Diamond.

The notion that conservative Christians want to reinstitute slavery and rule by genocide is not just crazy, it's downright dangerous. The most disturbing part of the Harper's cover story (the one by Chris Hedges) was the attempt to link Christian conservatives with Hitler and fascism. Once we acknowledge the similarity between conservative Christians and fascists, Hedges appears to suggest, we can confront Christian evil by setting aside 'the old polite rules of democracy.' So wild conspiracy theories and visions of genocide are really excuses for the Left to disregard the rules of democracy and defeat conservative Christians — by any means necessary.

In Australia, the Christian right has had mixed fortunes. In the case of the anti-abortion movement, there has been considerable fragmentation between the Federation of Right to Life Associations and Right to Life Australia. The latter favours direct action tactics, and has tended to alienate public opinion. Two other organisations that both began in 1995 with a Christian right focus and agenda were the Australian Christian Coalition, now known as the Australian Christian Lobby, and Salt Shakers. The Australian Christian Lobby has its headquarters in Canberra with State Offices, whilst Salt Shakers has a single office in Melbourne. Over time the Australian Christian Lobby has moved from the political right to a centre right position whilst Salt Shakers has not. Both have had their wins and losses over the 11 years that they have been operating. Both organisations form loose coalitions with other like minded organizations. These coalitions are issue focused and come and go as issues come and go.

In New South Wales, Reverend Fred Nile and his Christian Democratic Party have occupied two to three Legislative Council seats since the 1980s. Nile has been conspicuously unsuccessful in his efforts against the popular Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, and lesbian/gay rights legislation in general, as well as abortion.

Similarly, his former vehicle, the South Australia-based Festival of Light has been ebbing in recent years. In that state, the Family First political party has been elected at the state and federal upper house levels. Victoria used to be the headquarters of the National Civic Council, a conservative Catholic organisation that still produces News Weekly, a conservative Catholic news publication that opposes free market capitalism as well as abortion, voluntary euthanasia and lesbian/gay rights.

For a decade, this movement delayed the introduction of medical abortion in Australia (1996–2005). As time went on, all Australian states and territories either partially or fully decriminalised abortion access, although keeping abortion-on-demand illegal. Eventually, a unified multipartisan pro-choice movement insured passage of legislation that repealed obstacles within the federal Therapeutic Goods Act.

In Australia, Protestant fundamentalist movements have supported conservative state or provincial or national governments. Fred Nile has supported former federal Prime Minister John Howard and his (Liberal Party of Australia/National Party of Australia) Coalition federal government, as has South Australia's Family First party, represented at the state and federal levels.

While other western Christian right movements model themselves after the U.S. Christian right and seek closer ties with their dominant national center-right parties, efforts backfired in New Zealand and perhaps Canada and have only succeeded in Australia, and only at the federal level, at that.

Canada has had a Charter of Rights and Freedoms since the Canadian Constitution was patriated in 1982. As a result, there have been major changes in the law's application to issues that bear on individual and minority group rights. Abortion rights were completely decriminalized after two R. v. Morgentaler cases (in 1988 and in 1993). A series of provincial superior court decisions allowing same-sex marriage, led the federal government to introduce legislation that introduced same sex marriage in all of Canada. The current prime minister, Stephen Harper and his Conservative Party of Canada, stated before taking office that he would hold a free vote on the issue, but declared the issue closed after a vote in the Canadian House of Commons in 2006.

A number of groups can be characterized as religiously motivated and right of centre. Groups that support traditional definitions of the family such as REAL Women of Canada, and pro-life supporters within Campaign Life Coalition, and political parties like the Christian Heritage Party of Canada and Family Coalition Party of Ontario, as well as Focus on the Family Canada, a satellite of the U.S.-based multinational Focus on the Family, based in Colorado Springs, might all be included. These groups have limited influence and the political parties among them have never been elected to office.

These groups have had little success in advancing their agenda when faced with Charter challenges on the grounds of gender equality or protection against discrimination based on sexual orientation; the trend has been toward increased liberalization in these areas.

Similarly, in Canada, REAL Women of Canada and Campaign Life Coalition vociferously supported Stephen Harper and his Conservative Party of Canada in the Canadian general election held in late 2005. Thirteen federal Conservative MPs voted against a 2006 federal bill that would have repealed legislation that introduced same-sex marriage in Canada. In the 2006 federal election for a variety of reasons, Harper and the Canadian Tories only succeeded in achieving a minority government, and seem to have backed away from divisive tactics like repeal of federal same-sex marriage legislation.

During their first term of office, the Conservative Party of Canada did try to introduce measures that would have removed federal tax credit funding to independent Canadian film and television productions, only to withdraw the measure during the Canadian federal election, 2008. Stephen Harper has stated that there will be no further anti-abortion private members bills from his party, although the federal Tories remain strongly opposed to Insite, British Columbia's safe supervised injecting room facility for intravenous drug users.

In New Zealand, a unitary state, with a single parliamentary chamber, there was little opportunity for social conservative niche parties to influence politics until the electorate voted for Mixed Member Proportional electoral reform at a referendum held in 1993.

United Future New Zealand had been the only socially conservative party able to take advantage of this, but had not conspicuously succeeded in preventing sex work decriminalisation or civil union laws, and won reduced support at the New Zealand general election 2005. At that election, the Exclusive Brethren may have alienated urban voters from Don Brash and his National Party. In 2007 United Future lost its conservative Christian faction, and the party has rebranded itself as a moderate centre party.

During the New Zealand general election 2008, Family First New Zealand and The Kiwi Party campaigned against New Zealand's prohibition of parental corporal punishment of children within Green Party of New Zealand MP Sue Bradford's Child Discipline Bill. Right to Life New Zealand and Family First publicised cross-party voting records on abortion in New Zealand, prostitution in New Zealand, civil unions in New Zealand and same-sex marriage in New Zealand as well as availability of alcohol to teenagers. However, their input was largely ignored due to general public concerns over the global credit crisis in October/November 2008.

The United Kingdom has also had an active Christian right movement, whose fortunes peaked during the 1980s, under the Conservative Party administration of Margaret Thatcher, a social conservative. However, Mary Whitehouse and her National Viewers and Listeners Association (now Mediawatch-uk) were the only political beneficiaries of tighter censorship legislation and policy during the eighties. The Thatcher administration passed Section 28 of the Local Government Act 1988, the effect of which was disputed but which aimed to reduce the "promotion" of homosexuality by local authorities.

During the 1990s, John Major pursued a softer stance, and Edwina Currie, a libertarian Conservative MP, produced a private members bill to reduce the gay male age of consent from twenty-one to sixteen. However, the British Parliament accepted eighteen as a compromise age of consent. In 2001, full age of consent equality prevailed. From 1997 to 2007, Tony Blair was Prime Minister, and fully supportive of lesbian/gay rights. Under his Labour Party government, Clause 28 was repealed, the gay male age of consent was equalised at sixteen (2001), civil partnership legislation (civil unions) were introduced, and gay adoption reform passed after several libertarian Conservative MPs crossed the floor to support the measure.

Many Christian right issues are treated of matters of conscience by major parties for the purposes of the parliamentary whip, meaning the policies of parties are less important than those of individual members. In recent years, none of the major political parties has promoted such policies, and parliament has moved away from them in free votes. Outside the major political parties, there have been campaigns from small hard-line groups such as The Christian Institute and the Scottish Christian Party. Despite occasional attempts to reduce time limits for abortion access, British pro-life groups have been unsuccessful at limiting women's abortion access, due to that country's long-established and vigilant pro-choice movement. Some newspapers such as the Daily Mail and Daily Express run campaigns and print right-leaning coverage on subjects such as pornography and some of the aims of gay rights campaigners.

Britain, Canada and New Zealand have all faced repeated attempts to introduce voluntary euthanasia legislation, or decriminalise voluntary euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide through the courts, in the case of Canada. However, to date, none of these reform efforts have passed the select committee stage in any national, federal or provincial parliament. For example, a euthanasia law reform bill has just been postponed in the United Kingdom's House of Lords, after a massive anti-euthanasia/pro-care rally in London.

In the United Kingdom, Margaret Thatcher actively courted the conservative Christian vote throughout her tenure as Prime Minister (1979–1990). However, despite Clause 28 and stricter censorship law and policy, the Conservative Family Campaign proved to be divisive, and the Conservative Party has always had a more active socially liberal libertarian contingent than its Republican counterpart in the United States. The Conservative Family Campaign was closed down in the late nineties under John Major, and replaced with a less strident Conservative Christian Fellowship. To complicate matters, there are also left-wing evangelicals in British Protestant circles, who strongly disagree with the U.S. Christian right over issues like social and environmental policies, and major evangelical and anti-abortion lobby groups like CARE, SPUC and LIFE have always been careful to appear nonpartisan, and not alienate social conservatives within the Labour Party and Liberal Democrats.

Under new Tory leader David Cameron, it appears that the British Conservatives have decided that there is no benefit in seeking socially conservative constituencies if they alienate younger, gay, urban professional or female voters.

In Britain, the Conservative Party has backed away from actively courting evangelical and fundamentalist voters out of fear of alienating other significant electoral interest constituencies.

A recent study by the Barna Research Group concluded that most Americans under the age of 40 have a negative view of evangelical Christians as a result of the activities of the Christian Right.

The Republican Party has become increasingly identified with conservative Christianity. Younger Americans are becoming more secular and more permissive. In particular, young Americans have become increasingly tolerant of homosexuality and increasingly willing to have children outside marriage. While unmarried births have dropped among teenagers since the welfare reform of 1995, unmarried births have actually been rising among women in their 20s.

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Alliance Defense Fund

The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) is a conservative Christian nonprofit organization with the stated goal of "defending the right to hear and speak the Truth through strategy, training, funding, and litigation." ADF was launched in 1994 by the late Bill Bright (founder, Campus Crusade for Christ), the late Larry Burkett (founder, Crown Financial Ministries), James Dobson (founder, Focus on the Family), the late D. James Kennedy (founder, Coral Ridge Ministries), the late Marlin Maddoux (president, International Christian Media), and Donald Wildmon (founder, American Family Association), along with the leadership of over thirty other conservative Christian organizations.

ADF supports Christian public prayer in schools and government events, and works to protect religious displays -- such as crosses and other religious monuments -- built or placed on public lands or in public buildings. ADF is opposed to abortion, same-sex marriage, adoption by same-sex couples, allowing LGBT persons to serve in the military, and sex education in schools that includes comprehensive education on contraception.

ADF states that it has "had various roles of significance" in thirty-two wins before the United States Supreme Court, including such cases as Rosenberger v. University of Virginia, Schenck v. Pro-Choice Network of Western New York, Boy Scouts of America v. Dale, and Good News Club v. Milford Central School.

ADF's President, CEO, and General Counsel is Alan Sears. Sears was previously a Justice Department official under the administration of President Ronald Reagan, and has co-authored two books with Craig Osten: The Homosexual Agenda: Exposing the Principal Threat to Religious Freedom Today, and The ACLU vs. America: Exposing the Agenda to Redefine Moral Values.

It receives funding from the Bill and Berniece Grewcock Foundation, Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation, and Bradley Foundation.

The ADF is based in Scottsdale, Arizona. It has six branch offices, located in Sacramento, California; Lawrenceville, Georgia; Shreveport, Louisiana; Memphis, Tennessee; Washington, DC, and Olathe, Kansas. In addition, ADF recently opened its Center for Academic Freedom, located in Nashville, Tennessee.

ADF’s National Litigation Academy and Blackstone Legal Fellowship are aimed at training lawyers to pursue cases from a Christian, socially conservative perspective.

According to ADF, the National Litigation Academy brings together law school professionals, litigators, and constitutional lawyers for courses of study. Volunteer and allied attorneys are offered training in areas of law that relate to religious freedom, same-sex marriage, and pro-life issues. The training is provided at no charge, but each attorney pledges to spend 450 hours of pro bono time furthering ADF's mission by representing Christian organizations and individuals. ADF states that more than 1,200 attorneys have attended the National Litigation Academy.

The Alliance Defense Fund, working with other socially conservative organizations and Christian groups, as well as allied litigators, litigates cases involving religious freedom, human life issues, and same-sex marriage.

ADF has also had an internal networking program. ADF’s senior attorneys help the new attorneys with their first court cases. The "apprenticeship" approach prepares the new attorneys to work in the rarefied world of First Amendment law.

The Alliance Defense Fund states that it established the Day of Truth "to counter the promotion of the homosexual agenda and express an opposing viewpoint from a Christian perspective." The Day of Truth is held annually following the Day of Silence, which is organized by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN). ADF's web site regarding the Day of Truth states that the Day of Truth gives students "an opportunity to speak the Truth in love and have an honest conversation about homosexuality . . . . Participating students are encouraged to wear T-shirts and pass out cards (not during class time) with the following message: I'm speaking the Truth to break the silence. True tolerance means that people with differing -- even opposing -- viewpoints can freely exchange ideas and respectfully listen to each other. It's time for an honest conversation about homosexuality. There's freedom to change if you want to. Let’s talk." ADF claims that students who have attempted to speak against same-sex relationships and behavior have been censored or, in some cases, punished for their actions under campus hate-speech rules.

The Day of Truth was first organized in 2005. According to ADF, over 1,100 students in 350 schools participated in the first Day of Truth.

The second Day of Truth was held on April 27, 2006, and, according to ADF, nearly 3,000 students from more than 800 schools participated, according to ADF statistics. In February, ADF alleged that various unnamed bloggers opposed to the Day of Truth had attempted to undermine the event by swamping the Day of Truth web site with requests for brochures.

According to ADF, more than 7,000 students participated in the third Day of Truth, which was held on April 19, 2007. These numbers are not independently corroborated.

ADF has announced that beginning in 2009, it is passing on its leadership role in the Day of Truth to Exodus International.

The Alliance Defense Fund has many connections with Christian ex-gay organizations that claim that LGBT persons can change to heterosexuality through prayer, intervention and psychological counseling.

Resources for the group’s Day of Truth event were prepared by Exodus International, which assists persons seeking to overcome same-sex attraction.

ADF also represented the Christian ex-gay ministry Love in Action in a suit filed against the State of Tennessee. Love in Action sued the State of Tennessee, alleging religious discrimination, after the state Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities ruled that Love in Action was operating illegally and needed a state license in order to offer mental health care and services including drug and alcohol addiction treatment.

In November 2004, the ADF filed a lawsuit (Williams v. Vidmar) on behalf of a Cupertino, California elementary school teacher against his school principal and school board members. The ADF issued a press release regarding the lawsuit which some sources say was entitled "Declaration of Independence Banned from Classroom", while the ADF contended that the actual title was "Oh, the horror! California teacher provides students with historical American documents," with the other title appearing only on the ADF website. The ADF defended the accuracy of its press release, despite claims that it contained errors. In August 2005, the lawsuit was settled. An organization of parents within the school district expressed unhappiness with the lawsuit and the role of the ADF in it.

Major donors for the organization include beverage and carrot company Bolthouse Farms through the Bolthouse Foundation and Erik Prince, founder of the US government-contracted Blackwater Worldwide.

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Source : Wikipedia